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2003-10-23 Open Letter to the Superintendent of Schools

Open letter to the Superintendent of Schools

P.O Box 306
Vienna, Virginia 22183-0306
October 23, 2003
Dr. Daniel A. Domenech
Fairfax County Public Schools
10700 Page Avenue
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Dear Dr. Domenech:

Because of the relevance of possible tax increases to the forthcoming Board of Supervisors and School Board elections, I am making this an open letter.

You may recall that before the 1999 Supervisors and School Board elections I wrote you a letter asking you to tell the voters before the elections if the school budget would require a tax increase. Your response stated that any answer would be "premature." Then, one month after the elections, you announced a school budget crisis that precipitated a real estate tax increase.

The same thing happened with the 1995 elections. Before the election, the ultimately victorious candidate for Chairman of the Board of Supervisors stated that there would probably not be a tax increase after the elections. One week after the elections the previous school superintendent announced a school budget crisis. Then only one month after the elections the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors announced a tax increase.

Once again I would like to ask you to please tell the voters before the elections whether or not there is a school budget crisis. More specifically, the Chairman of the School Board Budget Committee has stated that the school system is predicting an $82 million deficit next year.

What would be the impact if this deficit were not funded?

Would it be a crisis?

Would you recommend increasing class size?

I am sure you agree that these are important questions for Fairfax County voters.

Thank you very much for your consideration of this matter.

Sincerely yours,

/s/Arthur G. Purves
Fairfax County School Board
Hunter Mill District

Note: At the time, FCTA president Arthur Purves was also a School Board candidate.